Acrylic and Gouache Painter

As a self-taught artist, Jo Kelly has worked her way into the art community as an acrylic and gouache painter. She circulates between abstract paintings, vibrant florals, and figurative pieces, narrowing down her wide array of subject matter into this current exhibit. Though they contrast in emotion, her two series both examine the myriad of life’s moments, stemming from the memories of early adolescent girls.


Swimwear Buddies is a spirited series that displays one side of Kelly’s work: The innocent, the youthful, and the kind. These girls are carefree. They are in the early stages of their adolescent and haven’t been faced with much of the adult world. Kelly allows us to visit these playful, bright memories of these girls past, giving us a chance to revisit some of our own.

Kelly’s Underwater series takes parts of its predecessor, but displays a different side of one’s interaction within the deep water. Here, the girls are isolated from their friends, from their surroundings, but they still seem at ease. The reflections of luminous light and iridescent colours paints these girls to be angelic. There is a level of comfort being displayed here, a sense of peace. It’s as if Kelly is painting a moment of self-reflection, allowing us to reflect on ourselves.

Her paintings draw inspiration from the following photographers: